From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Good News honors Don and Virginia Shell, the late Paul Morrell
01 Feb 2001 14:53:45
Feb. 1, 2001 News media contact: Thomas S. McAnally·(615)742-5470·Nashville,
By United Methodist News Service
Don and Virginia Shell of Lake Junaluska, N.C., and the late Paul Morell
have been honored with awards by the 40-member board of directors of Good
News, an unofficial evangelical caucus within the United Methodist Church.
During the board's annual meeting Jan. 24-26 in Wilmore, Ky., the Shells
received the Edmund W. Robb Jr. Award for their years of service to the
church and their leadership within Good News. The inaugural Paul L. Morrell
United Methodist Missions Award went to Morell posthumously. Receiving the
award for him was his widow, Ann, and son-in-law, the Rev. Leonard Stadler.
The Robb award honors a United Methodist evangelist and author who served
formerly as chairman of Good News board. Robb helped found the Foundation
for Theological Education, which has helped more than 90 John Wesley Fellows
earn degrees with a commitment to teach in United Methodist colleges and
seminaries. The Morrell award was established by the Good News board last
August to recognize United Methodists who have made extraordinary
contributions to the work of missions outside the denomination.
Morrell, who died July 23, served as pastor of several large churches in
Texas and was a former chairman of Good News. He founded the World Encounter
Gospel Organization and the John Wesley Creative Ministries, and was a
charter board member of the independent Mission Society for United
Virginia Shell's first husband, Burleigh Law, was a lay missionary martyred
during a Congolese uprising in the mid-1960s. Following his death, she
returned to the United States, and in 1969 joined the staff of the United
Methodist Board of Discipleship. She joined the Good News board in 1975. Her
second husband, General Electric executive Don Shell, was elected to the
Good News board in the mid-1980s and served as chairman from 1993 to 1996.
The husband-wife team led the organization's legislative strategy efforts
for four consecutive General Conferences beginning in 1980. The Shells are
active members of Long's Chapel United Methodist Church at Lake Junaluska.
During their January meeting, Good News board members listened to nine young
pastors and a future minister share their perspectives on the needs of the
United Methodist Church and suggested strategies for the coming four years.
Major themes that emerged included "the need for leadership accountability,
shared understanding of basic beliefs, new commitment to young ministry,
more ministry to the sexually broken, and meeting human needs in
neighborhoods and cities," according to a Jan. 31 news release from the
Good News' board chairman, the Rev. Phil Granger of Muncie, Ind., expressed
gratitude for the session. "Our time with these gifted young leaders
reflected Good News' commitment to build bridges to the next generation of
United Methodist leadership," he said.
In other action, the board:
· Heard concerns expressed by Faye Short of Cornelia, Ga., president
of Good News' RENEW Network for women, about a gathering of young women
sponsored by the Women's Division of the United Methodist Board of Global
Ministries. Short was concerned about the event being closed to visitors and
· Heard specific plans for a Good News-sponsored National Alpha
Conference to be held Oct. 29-30 at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore.
The 15-session course is described as a practical introduction to the
Christian faith, designed primarily for non-churchgoers and people who have
recently become Christians.
· Affirmed the denomination's emphasis on evangelism and making
disciples of Jesus Christ. The board pledged support for programs, emphases
and spiritual growth resources "which will help renew the denomination's
commitment to move more boldly in the direction of historic Methodism."
Board members also asked that the churchwide Board of Discipleship
re-establish a Division of Evangelism.
# # #
United Methodist News Service
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